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Accepted Paper:

From the battlefield back to the land: transgression and reappropriation of the military experience among U.S. veterans  

Author:

Eric Doidy (INRAE)

Paper short abstract:

This paper shows how U.S. war veterans with PTSD find their way back to civilian and civic life through a combination of transgression of the military as an institution and reappropriation of their own military experience and resources.

Paper long abstract:

Military U.S. campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan not only caused many post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases among the troops, but they also represented an occasion in which individuals questioned the justification of their action and expressed mistrust in the military institution. Getting back to civilian life was uneasy for some veterans, not only because of the PTSD in itself, but also because they refused social categorizations labelling them as “heroes” or “victims”. This paper examines how these veterans find their way getting back to civilian and civic life through a combination of transgression of the military as an institution and reappropriation of one’s own military experience and resources. This paper is based on an ethnographic investigation of a movement founded in the mid-2000’s by a group of organic farmers who took part in the anti-war protest, which helps war veterans with PTSD to start a career in agriculture (with the idea that farming can be part of a healing process for them).

Panel Pol01
Rearranging the rules in the military experience